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NH3 @The Stables – 11th March 2020

Scribe’s note: it so happens that this is the tale of the Last Hash Before The Lockdown. I’ve saved it until a Wednesday to give you all something Hashy to chew on whilst you stew in your coops. Our beloved Hare had billed it as The Hill 2; in fact it was more like 1917 without the shelling, but I’m not even going to bother to dress it up, it was amazing enough as it is.


The run in from Ebchester was long and rain-soaked. The double cheeseburger and chips at The Stables were excellent, as was the beer. It was whilst buying my second pint – the sneakily delicious 6.6% Dirty Deeds – that I discovered Inncontinence sitting by the fire, steaming gently. Moments later Omm and Less Cargo walked in the door.

The four of us had, like true Englishmen, been discussing weather for less than five minutes when Floppy After Effort joined us. Slippery When Wet soon followed, as did Papa John (who hadn’t bothered giving his son a lift) and, last but not least, Rover and Out plus our family of hares! Frogsporn and Soggy Biscuit turned up with their daughter Frankie, completely new to the Hash. If only she’d known what to expect…

With the rain falling steadily we all trooped out to the carpark for the off. There was no chalk talk (the hare later claimed to have done one at home), just an elbow in the direction of the road north of Beamish Hall.

The damage to flour had already been noted by those of us who’d crossed trail on the way in. Guilt kicked in very early for Frogsporn and he marked out most of the running checks and stop checks as soon as we reached them. This was for the best, as most of the places where he’d set checks that afternoon were now little better than mudslides. Indeed, after the first few hundred yards we found ourselves in the inky mucky darkness around Beamish Burn, probably a beautiful spot on a summer’s day but barely navigable on a wet and cloudy night.

Really, it was laughable. Almost every path was a climb up or a slide down; the footing started sloppy and just got worse. Impromptu water features appeared out of the gloom. Tree roots turned into tripwires. Tremendous fun.

beamish hash 2.jpg

After what felt like a long time of skidding about we crossed the old Consett-Sunderland railway line which is now Sustrans route 7. Having come in this way I’d seen the checks earlier, and briefly assumed I knew where we were going; nope, second turn was a wrong’un. We were now in the aptly-named Hellhole Woods. The footpaths we splashed along here were clearer, a bit easier to follow, and even wetter than the preceding mile and a half. We all got ankles deep at one point or another.

We then turned north to jaunt back through the muddy woods we’d started in. Here we had the pleasure of watching Frogsporn lose his own trail at least three times; at one point he bravely r*n to the front to guide us aright for a good hundred metres before Slippery found flour on a different path altogether.

“It all looks different in the dark,” the hare protested. Ah, the wise words of Mindphuck, back to haunt us again…

beamish hash 4.jpg

There was an excellent downhill sufficiently steep and wet to be a genuine danger to life. We r*n it, of course. There was a multi-FRB on a mossy log. There was a delightful amount of swearing. There was no beer stop; though we’d been warned about this it still rankled, given the sheer quantity of other liquids on offer.

We climbed to the edge of the woods and found ourselves – hallelujah! – on actual goddamn tarmac. This was an access road just next to Beamish golf course, into which august establishment the trail now led. The pebbled path we r*n upon provided such startlingly firm footing that I managed to fall over on my arse for only the second time that evening. It was a good fall, too; I think Frankie was the only clear witness who can testify to me losing it at the heels, going toes up touche down, sliding downslope a little so as to smear the shit all up to my right oxter, then unaccountably rolling over in it before getting up.

“Are you all right?” she inquired solicitously.

“This is what the Hash is all about,” I assured her, and carried on.

Because it is, isn’t it, hashers and harriets? The lovely warm dry summer evening r*ns with al fresco beers are all well and good, but the real Hash experience is schlepping out there in the pissing rain, rolling in the goddamn shiggy and generally getting into a state which no self-respecting publican would allow across the portal. By the time we reached the solidity of the main road leading up to Beamish Hall we were well into that condition, as the disapproving looks of the locals can testify.

beamish hash 3.jpg

It was barely a half-mile thence to the On Inn. Rain was still falling when we reached the car park. The circle was correspondingly brief, officiated by Omm, and consisted of the usual ode to the hare followed by a string of charges against same, including but not limited to:

  • front running
  • getting lost on own trail
  • laying ridiculously shiggy trail
  • no beer stop
  • making the fucking thing up as he went along

We sang him the Song Of Shit Hares and poured beer over him in punishment. There was also a virgin’s ode for Frankie (OMM GOT THE QUESTIONS RIGHT!) and brief discussion of the wa*ker’s trail as perambulated by Papa John. Frogsporn had given him three options: a 1.5 mile walk round the woods; a shorter walk across the top of the museum site and back; and just staying in the Stables. No prizes for guessing which of the three our stalwart veteran selected.

Circle was then concluded due to ongoing pissing rain. We repaired to the bar to upset more locals with our muddy asses and to watch Papa John mixing his drinks. Seriously, ask him about the half-and-half pints.

To my knowledge, there has been no trail since last September which equalled this one in terms of unexpected, relentless shiggy. There may be another; who knows what the future holds? All I can say is, if there is, I’ll be wearing my goddamn trailies.

NH3 @ The Ship Inn, Benton – 26 Feb 2020


Okay, you’ve got the idea. If you don’t get the reference you’re too young to drink.

And now here they are! The most haredevil group of hooched-up hashers ever to hash their heels in the A-to-B-sies! R*nners are approaching tonight’s A pub, the Ship Inn, led by The Count Hill Mob in his Bulletproof Beerwagon. Next, Floppy Flopfect in the Sandal Supreme, Pimpus Buzzcut in the Baldwagon, and Pop Pending in his T-shirt and shorts. Here’s the Slippery Slag Brother in his Speed-O-Car. Stalking him is the Gruesome Gripsome and manouevering for the toilet, the Lubri Surplus Special. Late to the line is Max Red Balls in his Chafing Chariot – he’s gone for an early bog break, cunningly crowding out Lubri’s attempt to take a dump. And here we have the lovely Cindy Sinstop, the Hot Harriet of the Hash. There’s still no sign of the hare, Krazy Kuai in his Chinese Chuggabug – and where, we all ask, is the double-zero Totes Totelly with his sidekick Bellski? Up to no good, I’ll wager!

Five minutes before starting time, the r*nners are raring to go and the hare finally arrives. They’re outside for a chalk talk. It looks like delaying tactics – Kuai is introducing new markings, including titty and cock checks where only harriets or hashers are allowed to seek trail. Looks like Cindy Sinstop will have her work cut out for her tonight! There’s also three different colours of chalk, because the halfbrained hare forgot to bring enough flour.

They’re under starter’s orders. The Count Hill Mob has already gone – with his underworld connections he’s learnt the location of the B and blasted off in his Bulletproof Beerwagon on the most impressive shortcut of the year so far!

They’re off! It’s an early lead from Cindy Sinstop as the trail loops right round behind the Ship then back onto the Front Street. Crossing the road it’s Floppy Flopfect, then Pimpus Buzzcut, then Pop Pending simply laughing at the 2º weather conditions. They’re into the back streets where the Slippery Slag Brother challenges for the lead. Out onto Coach Lane they hit the first of the titty checks – all the hashers stand around while Cindy Sinstop goes looking for flour.

“Why, ah do declah! Wheah evah will li’l old me find some li’l old flour?”

Pop Pending invents an idea.

“Let’s have some honorary Harriets,” he lightbulbs. “So Cindy doesn’t have to do all the checking.”

He’s rubber-stamped the Gruesome Gripsome and Max Red Balls. But it’s too late – Cindy has already found true trail and is out in front, heading south! The rest of the Hash skedaddle after her.

There’s a right, then a left, then a right, then a left, then maybe another left. Krazy Kuai has these Hashers all over the show. Onto a stretch of grass where they find a set of balance beams for kids – they’re straight on there. Floppy Flopfect shakes a sandal right off the side. The Chafing Chariot stutters across the steps – sounds like an engine misfire. The Slippery Slag Brother bashes his club across the balance bar, then slips on off. Cindy Sinstop is in last place right now but catches up with a point-perfect tiptoe traverse.

More back streets – another left, a right, right, left, left – these hashers have no idea where they are. FRBs are coming thick and fast, now it’s Pimpus Buzzcut out in front, then Floppy Flopfect, then the Slag Brother. They’re onto a carriageway and suddenly they know what they’re doing – Pimpus is leaving them all behind, they’re steaming along with the Chafing Chariot in last place.

They’re amazed to find themselves already at the beer stop. It’s the Newton Park – the surprise is scintillating, but there’s no hesitation in the charge to the bar. Krazy Kuai is first to get there, but – it had to happen sooner or later! – they find Totes Totelly and Bellski already lying in wait for them!

“Aye, we got here before the Count Hill Mob,” Totes sneers.

“Hhhhhe-he-he-he-he!” snickers Bellski.

The Lubri Surplus Special is propping up the bar, pint in hand. He eyes the r*nners as they straggle in, then goes out for a fag.

This pit stop takes some time. The barmaid almost seems unhappy at how many of them there are, until they start handing over money for beer. Eventually the Chinese Chuggabug is on the move again.

“Two minute warning!”

“We’ve only r*n about a mile,” rumbles Pimpus Buzzcut. “How far to the B pub?”

But the hare isn’t telling. He just points an elbow, and they’re on out heading west.

On the carriageway again with Pop Pending in the lead, shoes straight into the shiggy, Floppy Flopfect dallying behind him.

“These shoes are practically new,” he protests.

“Mine stink of ze shit,” announces Max Red Balls as he slops past in his Chafing Chariot. “Cannot get any vorse…”

They’re on through the shiggy beside the carriageway, then across it to the south. Back streets again, the looming shape of the Freeman Hospital beckoning them to Freeman Road and across to the green above the Dene for a stop check. The Chinese Chuggabug pulls up.

“Check it out, it’s there somewhere,” Krazy Kuai tells them.

There are hashers all over the place. It’s almost as if Totes Totelly had laid the trail – or removed it! But here’s the Slippery Slag on flour and in the lead, following trail down into the Dene! It’s steep and steppy in there, slidey and slimy underfoot. Nobody’s sure who’s in the lead for a while. Pimpus and Pop Pending hold an FRB conference on a humpback bridge to figure it out.

They’re following trail through bushes in almost total darkness now. Here’s a big rock in a clearing – Pimpus has stopped, is he going to bash it into a car?

“Does that say Beer Near?”

Indeed it does! The hashers are hunting around in the brambles now, torches essential. The Chinese Chuggabug is blowing cold-warm-hot as they get closer to… a red placca bag full of beer!

This is amazing, race fans. A simple bag of cans has put a big smile on every face and brought the entire Hash to a dead halt. Totes Totelly has sure missed out on this one. The Chafing Chariot has doused his headlights and is calling for others to do the same; they’re enjoying the starlight in a moment of hasherly love.

Soon the beer’s finished and they’re on out again. Pop Pending is in the lead, he’s found true trail leading – uphill? Between trees? OVER trees?

“Just when we were really starting to like your trail,” puffs Pimpus, “you pull this shit on us…”

The Hash struggle uphill through sticky shiggy including actual tree trunks. The Chafing Chariot is in its element here and flies briefly into first place before hitting an FRB. Then Floppy Flopfect seizes the lead, closely followed by Pimpus, Slippery, Cindy, Gripsome, and Pop. It’s mud and darkness for the next five minutes until they find themselves crossing the little footbridge at the Dene’s north end.

They’re onto Matthew Bank. Max Red Balls has gone the wrong way and is now bringing up the rear. The trail leads them into the back streets of South Gosforth – Slippery Slag Brother thinks he knows the B now and he’s off like a flash. Flopfect’s behind him, Gripsome on his heels, Pimpus and Pop closing in, so only Cindy and the Chafing Chariot follow Krazy Kuai through the cobbled back streets to the correctly-initialled Brandling Villa.

Crossing the line, they find Totes Totelly and Bellski lying in wait for them! What do the dastardly GM duo have in store for our racers?

“It’s okay, I got here first with the beer,” announces the Count Hill Mob. The blessed Bulletproof Beerwagon has indeed won this race, with the Lubri Surplus Special coming in second, fag in hand!

Krazy Kuai pulls a set of bunny ears out of the Chinese Chuggabug. They’re forced upon the incoming hare, Max Red Balls, as he attempts to convince the Hash that he’ll be sober enough to lay trail on Sunday morning. Pimpus then announces the winner of the T.W.A.T. contest – it’s the Chafing Chariot, with the Ship’s Cat r*n for including the Shields Ferry Terminal!

That’s right folks, it’s now official – Chafing is the biggest T.W.A.T. in Newcastle!

Hot Hash House News 1604 – The Badger, 19 Feb 2020

Pub: The Badger, PontelandR*nning hares: Grasshopper & Knee HighWa*king hare: Mary Poppins

badger HF 1.jpg

Our hares set us up with a spacious corner in a lovely old pub which is ideally placed for commuters as it’s right under the flightpath of Newcastle Airport. The pub was fine with both dogs and shiggy so the Hash worried not about the promised dark, damp conditions. Not all Hashers had brought torches; the Hares provided ample glowsticks to aid in recognition, particularly of Tripwire.
While Mary Poppins led the sensible detachment the r*nners jaunted along and over some quite big roads, some very muddy fields, and some country lanes which were charming by daylight. Inncontinence did the residents of Darras Hall a favour by relocating a mysteriously-transported road sign (was the wind really that strong?). Five Kuai led the charge through shiggy and therefore got the blame for all the missed FRBs.
On the way into Darras Hall the Hash were buzzed by Serious Athletes doing hill sprints. Nobody seemed to have told them that you only have to go as far as the Hare on a morley.
The Hash all agreed that the house p*rn was some of the best they’d ever seen. Suitably distracted, multiple hashers ran straight past the clearly-marked turn off Middle Drive and were instructed to wipe the drool from their chins as they came On Back.
Scenic carriageway led into the village where another Hash Flash was papped at a distinctly spooky old tower. Several hashers then mistook OBS for Obligatory Beer Stop and went for a half in the Diamond Inn, whilst the more sensible members returned to the Badger for the circle. All in all, an excellent r*n with the addition of a Nigerian Wild Rover (both visitor and returnee) who donated T-shirts!

badger HF 2.jpg

Hash stats
Visitors (returning): 1Returnees (haring): 2Hash hounds: 1Hashers with torches: not all
Mislaid road signs: 1  
Giant shiggy fields: 1Falsies in giant shiggy fields: 1Missed FRBs in giant shiggy fields: manyMorleys: 3Serious athletes: ~10Pele towers (vicars): 1Obligatory Beer Stops: 1Very pneumatic barmaids: 1
Next week is a point-to-point r*n perpetrated by Five Kuai Headjob, followed at the weekend by a Saturday Leap Hash Crawl to mark the quadrennial 29th February and a hangover Sunday r*n hared by Bedtime Story and Chafing Bollocks.
On OnCB (with apologies to GH)

The Holy Grale, Durham – 12 Feb 2020

Foreword: in the finest bardic tradition your scribe began the night with a pint of beer twice as strong as he thought it was. Take note – Tonkoat is not Tonkoko, though it is just as nice. The subsequent run was more of a blur than usual. The chalk talk should have been this:


in fact Frogsporn gave us this…

“Right everybody, thanks so much for coming along to the first anniversary of my virgin Hash. We’ve already found the Holy GrAle so I’m not going to do any Monty Python.”
“Good thing,” said Chafing. “I’m nowhere near funny enough for that.”
“On out is that way.”
“No chalk talk?” asked Kwai. “Hang on, I’m already here, what’s going on?”
“No chalk talk needed,” Frogsporn assured us. “All you need to know is DOUBLE!”
Everyone looked at him.


Up Allergate we went, then down to North Road via Sutton. Here we found a check at the foot of a stairway.
“What do we here, Hare?”
“DOUBLE!” screamed Frogsporn.
Up the stairs we went, then up some more, and then some more, until we reached the lovely little bijou battlement on top. A beautiful view of the Cathedral greeted us.

durham hash viewpoint.jpg

“Three ways, check ’em out,” said the Hare.
Pimp, Cinderella and Chafing began chatting.
They dashed off in the wake of the Hash. Playtime was being had by the coffee shop, but nobody did the scribe any favours by falling off stuff.
Next thing we knew we were running downhill through muddy woods with no light. Innconts hit a running check, Chafing just behind.
“D’you want the steep slidey bit, or the really steep slidey bit?” asked the veteran Hasher.
“Think I’ll go the wrong way for a change,” said Chafing. And so he did.
Further downhill lay a three-spot FRB. Three wise monkeys were performed.
“CLEAN THOSE UNIFORMS!” screamed the hare.
“Hang on,” said Treasure Chest. “Does anybody actually know this film he’s going on about?”
“Sure,” chorused all the Hashers and Harriets over 50. “It’s an early Sean Connery.”

The Hill.jpg

“But what’s that got to do with…” she looked back the way we’d come. “Oh.”
We hit the road on Framwellgate Peth, turned through the grounds of St Cuthbert’s Church. Less Cargo was found on a FRB in the little wooden portico on the other side of the churchyard; the stop check lay not five feet beyond.
“What’s this stop check doing so close to the FRB?” wondered Counterfit.
“DOUBLE!” screamed the hare.
So up Obelisk Lane, then Albert Street, then Back Western Hill we went. The roads got steeper and steeper. By the time we hit Valeside it was so steep even the tarmac had got tired and given up. We were onto shiggy paths again.
“This lovely little tumulus beside us is known as Hangman’s Hill,” Frogsporn informed us.
We looked at the hill, then at the running check.
“Do we..?” asked Gripper.
Flass Vale woods were very dark, very shiggy, very steep downhill. We all appreciated Frogsporn’s efforts to make the downhills at least as hard as the uphills. After all, who wants an easy Hash?
In fact we hit the longest straight downhill at this point, only scattered tree cover allowing enough light in that we could almost see what we were doing. Halfway down was a fence with stile.
“Shit, that’s barbed wire!” exclaimed Slippery.
Just over the barbed wire we found a five-spot FRB. A lovely opportunity for a Hash catch-up.
“What are you ‘orrible lot doing? DOUBLE!”
On down we went, turning right at the foot of the slope to a check in front of the Kingslodge Inn. Hashers cast about for a while before Omm found flour leading through a back lane past the NUM building. This led – uphill, of course – onto Redhills Lane where we continued to go uphill until we crossed beneath the railway and doddered quickly downwards through the back streets.
Across Hawthorn Terrace Pimp flagged drinks.
“Here we gan,” he said. “Wa*kers have got in here, let’s have a beer stop.”
Seconds later the hare was there.
“This isn’t the beer stop! What are you doing?”
“Which way is it then?” Pimp asked.
The hare pointed uphill.

hill 2.jpg

Up onto Margery Hill Lane we went. Trail along this road was littered with running checks promising a shortcut left.
“It’s got to be down here through these allotments,” Kwai asserted.
“ON BACK DOWNHILL!” screamed the hare.
On up the hill we went.
Trail eventually left the road. We found ourselves in the grounds of Durham School, where steep downhills were so dark that, well…
“Who’s missed this FRB?” Pimp shouted. “Premature evacuation!”
“I’m standing about a foot away from it,” Slippery pointed out from his perch on the tree trunk.
“Christ, didn’t see you there…”
After the downwards stagger to Prebends Bridge (where even Innconts was too tired to summon up an innuendo) we began to cross, only to be called back.
“ON BACK!” screamed the hare. “The flour leads…”
Sure enough, we ran a bit further uphill. We did manage a quick break for a Hash Flash.

durham hash near the end.jpg

This turned out to be the final climb. It led us onto a footpath which fed straight into the back of a pub, Ye Olde Elm Tree. For an olde tree it was pretty packed, a boardgames night mixing with students trying to claim tables for the impending quiz.
“Can ye not stand in front of the door please?” snapped the barmaid at Floppy.
“What’s the problem?” Floppy wondered. “Is she worried the place is too empty, given that the only free floor space is that bit in front of the door?”
A number of hashers had already sacked it off in favour of the Holy GrAle, which was spitting distance down the street. Once the rest of us had finished the obligatory pint we followed on for a very chilly, very brief circle.
“Frogsporn, get in the middle,” said Pimp.
“Aw, what for?” asked the hare.
“HILLS” screamed the entire Hash.

hill 3.jpg

Epilogue: your scribe proceeded to get pretty much arseholed on strong stout after this point – excellent bar, that Holy GrAle – and had to ask the hare for a map of the run to remind himself of where we’d been. The map came complete with a profile chart.

durham hash.JPG

If you stretched it out into a straight line it’d be at least five miles…

NH3 @ The One Eyed Stag – 5th Feb 2020

gymnast beer.jpg

Next on the floor we have Cinderella and Gripper performing a double routine. It’s the first time for both of them in Newcastle, Gripper’s very first time as a hare; nerves will be a factor here, but they both look very poised, very calm.

As ever, they have to start with choice of bar. They’ve gone for out-of-town, a bold move in February – still very cold out there – but it looks like they’ve pulled it off as that’s a decent turnout, almost 20 in total, most of the usuals along and two dogs, so no slips there. It’s the One-Eyed Stag in Whickham they’ve gone for, not a routine we’ve seen before and a bit set back from the main road, but the beer’s good – full marks for that section.

Now we’re at the start of the r*n. Total concentration from Cinderella here, Gripper’s looking very serious. They’ve started with a running check – it’s a strong opening move, moderate difficulty, not as adventurous as Bedtime Story’s five-ways check back in December, but it’ll catch the judges’ eye nonetheless.

Looks like Floppy and Chafing have gone the wrong way. Apparently Chafing couldn’t even find the bar at first so there’s no surprise there.

They’ve navigated the Front Street and they’re now attempting a right turn – it’s going to take them up towards Chase Park. Oh, and look at that! Very early in the routine and there’s already a Hash Playtime. Perfect execution. Slides, swings – they’re going for the balance bar. Chafing’s slipped! He’s attempting it again but the damage is done, he’s already lost points at the start. Slippery When Wet’s having a try, now Ion Dick, and they’ve both fallen. Now it’s Cinderella – very poised, across in one, no points deducted there.

Gripper’s leading them further into the park. There’s a tower – they’ve set a circle of arrows around it, a very unusual move! Pimp’s hit an FRB next to the tower and he’s just standing there while Slippery, Dick, Chafing, run past him repeatedly. They’re moving on now after the pack – really it was only funny for the first minute or so, they won’t impress the judges with that sort of performance.

Smooth dismount to the Front Street and then a quick series of side streets: Broom Lane, Lansbury, Arthur Cook, Southfield. Five Kuai’s doing something unusual at an FRB, he’s behind the lamppost – jumped out on Chafing, surprised everyone there. Especially Chafing, looks like he’s shat himself a bit.

Looks like a stop check next. Innconts has found the route, it’s a right turn into the woods; he’s very calm at the front as always, even in the dark. Pack is straggling behind and oh dear, they’ve dropped to a walk due to shiggy, that’s going to cost them points.

Now they’re into country lanes and they’re picking up the pace again. Gripper looks very confident here, this is his training ground so he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s been very sparing with the markings, which will raise the difficulty but could cost him points if the execution isn’t perfect. Luckily most of the Hash have remembered their torches, just a couple of wobbles as they find their way.

The hares have sent them through some extra shiggy – quite a difficult move, it’s led them into a stream, Speedbump’s straight through it but some of the Hash don’t seem to want to get their feet wet, and it turns out Kuai’s got new shoes on! That’s a bad stumble, he’ll see that in his score at the finish.

360 check.jpg

Stop check next. Bit slow to finish, the hares did a little headcount there. And now – this is remarkable, Cinderella has called a 360º check! This is unprecedented and very difficult, that hillside’s in total darkness. The judges are holding their breath. It’s worked! She’s pulled it off, someone’s found the flour and it only took about a minute. Perfect execution there, not a wobble at the finish.

More shiggy now, moving along well. Looks like there’s another stream coming up, there’s the footbridge. Stop check here, it looks like they have something elaborate planned; apparently it’s a Geocache, the hares have challenged the pack to locate it. Lot of splashing about, I have to say most of the Hash aren’t really trying, they can’t impress the judges with that sort of performance. Here we go – Sab’s found it, little capsule stuck under the bridge itself, bit of notepaper inside. But nobody’s brought a pen! That’s a wobble which will cost them points, though it’s another unusual and ambitious move in itself.

Did Slippery suggest putting a pube in there? That’s not going to help his score at all.

Dense woodland next, difficulty level staying high. Cinderella’s found a fallen tree and designated it a balance bar – less challenging than the one in the park, Chafing’s crossed it, Floppy’s had a go. Most of the pack have carried on and hit the FRBs scattered through the woods.

Now they’re in the open, roads visible in the distance. It’s another unlit hillside, Misled’s at the front but she’s not very confident about the route. Looks like Chafing’s found it – he’s off towards the fence line. He’s found the check and here’s the double fence manouevre that the hares promised at the outset. Counterfit’s got ahead of them, he’s already over the five-bar gate. The pack take the fence – the hares are really enjoying themselves here, they know they’ve got a lot of points in the bag already.

double fence.jpg

Following Sunniside road now, then Whaggs Lane. They’re doing a housing-estate routine here, safe ground after the difficult off-road section. Lots of flour missing here though; looks like the locals have been out trying to scuff up the marks in some kind of mistaken belief that it’ll stop their dogs from getting poisoned or their children from becoming devil-worshippers or something like that. The hares still look confident. There’s a morley there, well executed, just at the foot of a flight of steps.

Pack are starting to ask about a beer stop now – and there it is, they’ve reached the Fellsider. Trees Are’s not sure about the look of it, the words “estate pub” are being bandied about. But they’re all in, no serious stumbles along the way.

Only one barman. Beer’s acceptable. They may lose a mark or two there, depends how generous the judges are feeling. Cinderella’s handing out sweets to keep spirits high. Looks like Omm and Less Cargo are going for a quick dismount here. Beers all round otherwise.

playing fields.jpg

Now they’re out on Fellside Road, over to the playing fields. More shiggy here, and the trail’s parallel to the main road; Pimp’s noticed this, I think he considers it a flashy move. A check at the end and then on – looks like Sab and Chafing have gone the wrong way as they’re all back into the side streets.

A few quick somersaults and they’re through Glebe Avenue and back to Front Street for the circle. And what a performance!

The circle applauds. Some of the locals are shouting a bit about the noise. What will the judges think?

Well, it’s Totem as GM handing over to Pimp, and he’s called Gripper on his choice of flour receptacle. It’s an orange juice carton, not very stylish, but perhaps appropriate for a virgin hare. High scores all round for the joint effort. Pimp’s raising sartorial issues now, he’s called Floppy in about his sandals and his lack of Hash gear, and then of course it’s Kuai’s new shoes.

He’s drunk beer straight out of them. Perfect execution. A great finish to a great routine. The judges have scored it a 15 – can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in store for us.